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Abstract

The average grades of copper mines are dropped by extracting high grade copper ores. Based on the conducted studies in the mine field, the uncertainty of economic calculations and the insufficiency of initial information is observed. This matter has drawn considerations to processing methods which not only extracts low grade copper ores but also decreases adverse environmental impacts. In this research, an optimum cut-off grades modelis developed with the objective function of Net Present Value (NPV) maximization. The costs of the processing methods are also involved in the model. In consequence, an optimization algorithm was presented to calculate and evaluate both the maximum NPV and the optimum cut-off grades. Since the selling price of the final product has always been considered as one of the major risks in the economic calculations and designing of the mines, it was included in the modeling of the price prediction algorithm. The results of the algorithm performance demonstrated that the cost of the lost opportunity and the prediction of the selling price are regarded as two main factors directed into diminishing most of the cut-off grades in the last years of the mines’ production.
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